Spring on the ranch is one of my favorite times. The long, cold winter is finally over, the trees are showing their buds, the grass is starting to turn green, and my favorite of all, the new calves are born.
Dolly the heifer gave birth to her first calf a few days ago. Though it is her first calf - which can sometimes be very difficult - she came through like a pro. Our son Alex and I watched her give birth a couple of evenings ago and she had no problems at all. The whole process only took about 45 minutes. I am always amazed at how well animals handle the birth experience; they know instinctively what to do. Both she and the new calf were up walking around in less than an hour. Now, three days later, the little calf is running all over the pasture with her Mama trying hard to keep up with her.Cows usually make very good mothers; in fact I know some people who could take a few lessons from the bovines.
The new calf weighed in at 72 pounds, which is just right for a Lowline Angus. One of the reasons we selected this breed of cattle is their ease in calving and that proved to be true in this case. Though they start out small they quickly gain weight on grass.Perfect!
This little one is just the first calf of the season for us. Our other bred heifer for this year, Mildred, is due to give birth any time. Mildred is at left with the green ear tag. She has been very interested and helpful in taking care of the new calf - licking her and nuzzling her and letting her know when she gets too far away. Mildred is huge and seems pretty miserable most of the time, so she will probably be glad to have her calf.
My guess on when Mildred's calf will be born is Thursday, April 12th. I don't really have a good reason for that date or any inside information, just seems to me like that will be the day. It will also be Mildred's first calf so we hope things go as smoothly for her as they did with Dolly. Anyone else have a prediction on the date Mildred will calf?